Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Taking advantage of the amazing weather is all
part of the Christmas tradition Down Under.
For those who find themselves in
the southern hemisphere this festive season, here are three ideas for
Melbourne merriment.
Santa usually arrives dashing through the snow in a sleigh
pulled by a slew of reindeer, right? Not in Melbourne, where the high
temperatures play havoc with poor old Prancer and Dancer's constitutions (to
say nothing of the snow).
Should you find yourself in this sunny clime come
the holidays, you can celebrate the season with its summery
offerings—possibly a welcome change if you're already feeling snowbound come
end of December.
Here's how to have a perfect Christmas holiday in the city
(while you're in town, don't forget to stock up on some shopping).
An Aquarium Outing On the big day at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, the
jolly fat man arrives wearing a scuba tank, making an appearance in the
580,000-gallon Oceanarium among the sharks, rays, and schools of fish.
all part of the Christmas Day celebrations, where guests can arrive starting
at 11 a.m.
for a three-course lunch.
In addition to Santa's appearance,
Sharkie, the SEA LIFE mascot, will be entertaining the crowd; a marine
specialist will be giving a presentation; and every child who attends gets a
When you're not enjoying the food, wander around getting to know the more
than 10,000 residents at the aquarium, including penguins, sea horses,
brightly hued tropical fish, and Pinjarra, who at 16 feet long, is one of the
largest saltwater crocodiles in Australia.
From $87; includes lunch, unlimited
wine, beer, and cider for the adults, and soda and juice for the kids.
Presents at the Zoo It isn't only the humans who get to tear the wrapping
paper off gifts at the Melbourne Zoo.
As you're strolling around the grounds,
look out for the keepers handing out special treats to the animals in their
While tickets for the holiday three-course lunch have all been sold,
visitors can tuck into seasonal fare at the zoo's Lakeside Bistro.
The regular
menu will be available, but there also will be festive treats, including mince
tarts, panettone and berries, and semifreddo Christmas pudding.
The zoo is
open all day from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m., with all the exhibits open as
Entry from $23.
Hit the Beach At any time of year, there are plenty of travelers milling
in Melbourne, and the holiday season is no exception.
While most of the city's
big hotels offer spectacular Christmas day celebrations, sometimes it's good
to simply relax by the sand.
For festive fun in the great outdoors, head to
Kilda Beach.
On a glorious day, the stretch of sand will be packed with
backpackers and locals escaping family duties, many of them wearing bikinis,
board shorts, and Santa hats.
Pack a picnic, go for a paddle, and check out
the view.
Just don't forget a hat and sunscreen.
Carrie Hutchinson lives in Melbourne and covers the city for Travel +
Spend Christmas Day at Melbourne Zoo, SEA LIFE Melbourne
Aquarium, or on the beach at St Kilda.

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